Desires & Devices by Karl D. Stephan

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Desires & Devices

Charles Williams's Prophetic Warning About the Temptations of Technology by Karl D. Stephan

Every age has its besetting sin. For the United States in the nineteenth century, it was slavery. For the world of the twentieth century, a leading contender was totalitarianism in its guises of fascism and communism. And ever since Abraham, God has raised up prophets to warn his people away from their sins, besetting and otherwise. Besides the biblical prophets, whose words are for all time, novelists have also played prophetic roles through their fiction—Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and George Orwell's Animal Farm come to mind.

It may be too eary to pick a besetting sin for the twenty-first century, but chances are it will have something to do with technology. If we look for a prophetic novel that warns us of the peculiar spiritual dangers of wielding immense power through material objects, we could do worse than take Charles -Williams's 1931 novel, Many Dimensions, as a guide.

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